Do you want to know what’s the difference between pinsa and pizza? This article is for you.
In a quick and helpful manner, I’ll help you understand what pinsa is, how it differs from pizza, and if you should prefer it over pizza.
So, let’s get straight into this read.
Key Differences Between Pinsa and Pizza at a Glance
- Dough: Pinsa uses soy, rice & wheat flour, while pizza uses only wheat flour.
- Texture: Pinsa has an airier, crispier crust like cotton balls jotted together and a softer interior than pizza.
- Shape: Pinsa is traditionally oval, while pizza is typically round.
- Healthier: Pinsa is lower in calories and carbs and easier to digest than pizza.
What is Pizza?
Pizza, in its modern form, is a savory baked dish starring a flat, round bread base topped with tomato sauce, cheese, and often other delicious ingredients.
Though not directly descended from pizza as we know it, ancient flatbreads with toppings existed in various cultures, offering glimpses of an early pizza ancestry. The Romans enjoyed focaccia, a flatbread often adorned with herbs and olive oil. Egyptians and Greeks indulged in similar creations. Yet, the key ingredients of modern pizza – tomatoes and mozzarella cheese – wouldn’t arrive in Europe until much later.
The term “pizza” itself appears in the 10th century, suggesting a long-standing cultural connection to this delightful food. Over time, pizza evolved from street food during 18th-century to a beloved culinary icon, adopted and adapted by countless cultures across the globe.
Today, pizza variations abound, reflecting local tastes and traditions. Thin-crust Neapolitan pizzas, deep-dish Chicago styles, and countless toppings from pepperoni to pineapple (yes, even pineapple!) all celebrate the versatility and enduring appeal of this simple yet satisfying dish.
What’s Pinsa and Why is it Called Pinsa Romana?
Pinsa is a type of hand-pressed, high hydration Roman pizza that features an air-trapped crust like cotton balls jotted together. This cloud-like crust forms a bed for toppings like sauce, cheese, extra virgin olive oil, and deli meats.
As a delightful bite of ancient Roman history, pinsa boasts a unique dough and heritage. Unlike pizza’s familiar wheat flour, pinsa’s dough embraces a trio of grains: wheat, soy, and rice. This multi-grain blend whispers an alluring fragrance and crafts a texture unlike any other. Imagine airy cotton clouds nestled beside a soft, yielding interior – that’s pinsa’s charm.
But pinsa’s journey began long before trendy cafes and wood-fired ovens. Its roots trace back to the Lazio region of Italy, where 2,000 years ago, Romans crafted a simpler version of pizza – pinsa Romana. Back then, skilled hands flattened dough and baked it on scorching stones, birthing the name “pinsa” from the Latin “pinsere,” meaning “to press.”
Now, why is it called pinsa Romana?
The word “pinsa” itself comes from the Latin word “pinsere,” which means to press or stretch. Romans have been making pinsa since ancient times. They used to flatten the dough and bake it on hot stones. So, the name Pinsa Romana simply refers to this ancient Roman way of making pizza on a hot stone.
What Makes Pinsa Different from Pizza?
Something very special…it’s the dough ingredients and the art of stretching the dough that forms a traditional Italian Pinsa.
1. Dough Ingredients are Different.
Primarily, pinsa’s dough sets it apart from your usual pizza. It’s made with wheat, soy, and rice flour. This multi-grain blend gives it a unique taste, iconic fragrance, and texture—airy and crispy on the outside but soft on the inside. It’s a perfect pizza ancestor but far easier to digest.
2. Pinsa Dough has Higher Hydration.
Second, the pinsa dough is strictly 80% hydration dough. In contrast, the pizza dough may have varying hydration levels of 60%, 70%, or 80%.
3. Pinsa is Streched Differently.
Third, the way pinsa is stretched also contributes to its distinctive identity. The high-hydration pinsa dough is stretched by hand on a heavy amount of semolina to create a bubbly texture overall. It’s why the pinsa turns out to be “cushiony.” Additionally, pinsa is stretched in oval shape, yet pizza may have different shapes.
4. Toppings Go on the Pinsa after Baking the Crust.
Four, the pinsa crust is first baked and then topped with several toppings, followed by optional cooking, and lastly, sliced and served. This process differs from pizza, which is usually baked in one go.
Pinsa vs. Pizza: Which is Tastier and Why?
Choosing “tastier” boils down to personal preference.
Pinsa shines with its light, airy crust and soft interior and multi-grain blend whispers unique flavors.
Pizza, with its familiar chewy crust, several toppings features a bolder and addictive taste. Each excels in its own realm.
So, indulge in the airy dance of pinsa or the comforting embrace of pizza – let your taste buds decide!
Pinsa vs. Pizza: Which is Better and Why?
Pinsa shines with its airy, crisp crust and light, easily digestible dough thanks to its unique blend of flours and high hydration. It suits health-conscious palates and those seeking a gentler dining experience.
Pizza, with its chewy crust and denser dough, delivers bold flavors and hearty satisfaction. It’s a classic crowd-pleaser, ideal for those craving a familiar, comforting taste.
Ultimately, “better” is subjective. Consider your priorities: light and wholesome or rich and comforting. Then, dive into the perfect bite, pinsa or pizza, for your cravings.
Why is pinsa oval?
Pinsa’s oval shape harks back to its ancient Roman origins. The dough’s higher hydration level made circular shaping challenging, leading to its distinctive oval form. However, some pros can successfully shape it as circular.
Is Pinsa Easier to Digest than Pizza?
Absolutely. Pinsa’s unique dough composition, including wheat, soy, and rice flour, coupled with its high hydration level, makes it gentle on the stomach.
Is Pinsa a Good Alternative to Pizza When You Have Acid Reflux?
Yes, pinsa can be a GERD-friendly option, especially with healthy toppings and a thin crust. Opt for whole wheat flour and choose gentle, fiber-rich toppings to enjoy pinsa without aggravating acid reflux.
Is Pinsa Good for Weight Loss?
Yes, pinsa is good for weight loss owing to fewer calories and fewer carbs. Yet, it’s advisable to have it in moderation.
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